Reading in Chinese 閱讀中文

Reading is the most important things to do when we learn any written languages. Books are a vital item to get when we can’t fly to the certain country and learn languages from the native speakers.

Even though I am a native Cantonese speaker and a fluent Mandarin speaker, and I try to speak Cantonese to my children all day long, I found that it was quite impossible to teach them to read and write Chinese without any Chinese books. I have brought some of my favorite Chinese books from Hong Kong to the State, but I only had a few very simple children books that my parents shipped to me. Therefore, it is quite difficult to encourage my children to learn Chinese without any physical resources.

Chinese characters are not easy to learn and to memorize, they are like complex pictures often with meanings and sounds in each character. It takes so many visual inputs, (e.g.consistent reading, dictation…) to be able to read Chinese. I can’t remember how many books I had to read, memorize, and  hand copy, in order to pass all my exams.

I want my children to think knowing Chinese is COOL & FUN, and Chinese is also in their blood and heritage. That’s WHY I create these learning Chinese resources for my children, and I hope it can help yours as well.

 

How is it Work?

I am not an expert of early childhood or of reading, but I got actual children who are learning English & Chinese right now. So my goal is to create a friendly environment at home, which, will increase their love of the Chinese language, and encourage them to learn and understand Chinese culture.

Here is a sample of my theme : SUMMER.

I create Two set of books to go along with my Pre-K/Kindergarten Theme Packs.

        

 

CHINESE VOCAB BOOK (生字書):

This is a set of books with simple Chinese vocabs and colorful images. And these vocab books are for the very beginners who are just learning to recognize simple Chinese characters.

CHINESE MINI-BOOK(迷你書):

This is a set of books with simple Chinese sentences and colorful images for each theme. And these mini books are for the children who have learned Chinese for a little while, or capable and willing to read some simple Chinese sentences.

What to do with the Vocab Books?

So for the very beginners, what I will suggest doing is to go through the Chinese Vocab Books FIRST. You can simply introduce your theme of the week(s) in English first, especially for the young children, so they will have concepts and background knowledge of the theme. And after they did all the activities and readings in their native languages, you can slowly introduce them in Chinese by using the Vocab Books. Of course, it will be better to use the same kind of vocabularies in English first and then the Chinese, so your kids will not be too surprised.

 

How can I transition to the Mini Books smoothly?

Then, patient and repetition are the KEYS of learning anything in the world, especially learning other languages. Try to use these vocabs on a daily basis. I have tried to replace vocabularies completely (which is use these words in Chinese only) when I was a Cantonese teacher in the Missionary Training Center in Utah. For example, if the word is “老師” (teacher in Chinese), so I would suggest my students to say,  “老師, can you please teach me to write this words?” I will add more and more gradually until their English sentences would change to all in Chinese. Through this “Chinlish” practice, I did not forbid my students to say any English or whatever mother languages they have, but to encourage them to use and speak their Chinese even though they were just a very beginner. I don’t agree with NO ENGLISH at all, because the students will get scared, embarrass, and then they will lose interest and reject to learn the languages.

 

How is it work with the Pre-K/Kindergarten Packs?

The Pre-K/Kindergarten Packs are designed hand-in-hand with the Vocab Books & Mini-Books. According to your children situation, you can choose to use the books FIRST, AFTER, or TOGETHER with the Packs. There is no right or wrong how to use them. Or you can also let your kids pick as well.

By learning with interesting visual practice (reading the books) and fun physical activities (work on the Theme Packs), your children will enjoy learning Chinese.

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 And the GOOD NEWS is …

all the Vocab & Mini Books are all  FREE!

 

 

                      

 

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